14 June 2007

Pinky and the brain

After watching a few episodes of Pinky and the Brain yesterday, I have a new respect for the writers based on their choice of music snippets. In the episode where Brain creates a new Chia-Earth, the musical score is based on Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, the New World Symphony. I also recognized the music from an episode where Pinky poses as a painter to sell his works: Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." Extremely classy.

02 June 2007

DOE takes the axe to another program dear to my heart

After 56 years of operation, the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory is shutting down due to budget cuts from the Department of Energy. It was established to monitor the environment surrounding the Savannah River Site, to ensure that the tritium and plutonium production operations were not interfering with the environment.

I spent a week and a half in the area as part of an award trip through the DOE Science Bowl. It was an amazing learning experience that not only showed the null effects of the present-day operations on the ecology but also enhanced the scientific repository through the invention of new techniques and the discovery of new species in the southeast marshlands.

Even though it's possible that the funding may well be spent in better places, I'm sorry to see it go.